Officials discuss strengthening ties in Big Walnut area


SUNBURY — The president of Big Walnut Local Schools Board of Education met recently with one of the mayors in the district.

“Mayor (Jill) Love in Galena invited me to her coffee chat last Saturday (Feb. 15),” Brad Schneider said during the comments portion of the board meeting held Feb. 20. “We talked to maybe a dozen or so Galena residents who popped in and out. It was an interesting discussion.”

Schneider went on to say he recommended someone who has worked with district to help the village improve its biodiversity. In return, Schneider was informed about a recycling grant.

“It was just a good reminder for me that when we’re all talking, and we’re six townships and two villages and sometimes going in eight different directions, the more we’re all talking among ourselves and sharing information, we’re strengthening our community,” Schneider said.

Sunbury Village Council President Joe St. John said members Damin Cappel and Cindi Cooper would become more involved with the school board, Schneider said.

Big Walnut is asking district residents, including those in Galena and Sunbury, to renew its operating levy on a continuing basis on the March ballot. The Gazette will break down the issue in an article to run next week.

In other business, the board approved membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association; as well as extended field trips such as the annual eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. on May 18-21, and the Big Walnut High School Band and Choir trip to Orlando, Florida, Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

Also at the meeting, Harrison Street Elementary Principal Kim Castiglione said some of her students recently “spread love and joy” at a senior center. “My cheeks hurt from smiling,” she said. HSE’s Lauren House (Student of the Month) and Macie Ray (Art Student of the Month), and General Rosecrans Elementary’s Jack Bauer (Student of the Month) and Alyssa Huffman (Art Student of the Month), were later recognized by the board.

In other district news, Eagle’s Hope, a new club “to talk privately about stress, anxiety or depression,” will hold its first meeting Wednesday at the high school.

Finally, Big Walnut finished in 10th place at the inaugural state girls wrestling championship last weekend at Hilliard Davidson. Aliya Martin finished in second place in her weight division, and Cali Lang finished in third place in her weight division.

“This is a great moment in time for Big Walnut and the wrestling program as we tie our highest-ever placement at a state wrestling tournament,” writes Jack Reall on the district’s athletics website. Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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